Medicine: Peggy

A slim book by an angry mother won a victory last week over French medical bureaucracy. In 1952 Micheline Vernhes, wife of a Casablanca industrialist, took her five-year-old daughter Peggy to Paris' Hopital Trousseau. Doctors recommended this public hospital, rather than a more comfortable private clinic, because of better lab facilities in treating Peggy's nearly hopeless case of rheumatic fever.

From the start, Hopital Trousseau "looked sinister"; the head nurse seemed like a heartless virago. Peggy was not allowed her "pretty, rose nightdress," instead got "a veritable sack." Under regulations barring money and jewels, she could not even keep her religious medal....

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